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Quality

 

Operating revenue fell faster than operating expenses for two years at hospitals which had been merged into or acquired by a new system, with no evidence of improvement on quality measures, according to a report released by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Communication-and-resolution programs (CRP) at four Massachusetts hospitals led to lower medical liability costs and improvements in patient safety after adverse events, countering concerns that telling patients about errors would motivate more to file lawsuits.

Sacramento, California-based Sutter Physician Services found success in helping to reduce readmissions at its affiliated Sutter Health hospitals by coordinating follow-up appointments and check-in calls with recently discharged patients, but communication and C-suite engagement have been critical to making the effort work.

Oct. 2 is the deadline for clinicians to start collecting performance data for the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and still be eligible for a positive payment adjustment in 2019. With multiple sources showing clinicians and healthcare finance professionals feel unprepared for the first year of the new payment track, some eligible providers may settle for simply avoiding a negative adjustment.

Overall star ratings on the CMS Hospital Compare website will not be updated in October as previously scheduled, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).

 

Recent Headlines

Hospitals with lower admissions have higher 7-day mortality rates

Lower inpatient admission rates at hospitals seemed to correlate to higher rates of unexpected deaths within seven days of discharge from an emergency department, according to a new study published in BMJ.

Mold found in NIH pharmacy

Safety issues have again popped up in pharmaceutical units at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with the problem this time being “environmental mold” found in a sucrose solution.

California hospitals with high infection rates have gone 5+ years without inspection

In California, 131 hospitals have gone at least five years without being inspection by public health officials, including 80 facilities that have reported significantly higher rates of hospital-acquired infections.

McKesson settles ‘suspicious’ pharmacy orders case for $150 million

McKesson has agreed to pay $150 million and suspend sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in four states to settle allegations that it failed to notice and report pharmacies’ suspicious orders of opioid painkillers.

Adding UVC light to hospital cleaning can reduce ‘superbugs’—but not cheaply

Using a certain type of ultraviolet (UV) light while disinfecting hospital rooms can cut down on transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by as much as 30 percent.

ACO hospitals reduced readmissions from SNFs more quickly

While all hospitals have reduced readmissions of skilled nursing facility (SNF) patients, those affiliated with accountable care organizations (ACOs) did so more quickly, according to a study published in the January 2017 issue of Health Affairs

Patient safety indicators need to be optimized

A link between patient safety indicators (PSIs) and patient outcomes can be found—but only after researchers went deeper than claims data would allow and questioned the accuracy of billing based on PSIs.

Financial penalties successful in reducing readmissions

Being penalized under the Hospitals Readmissions Reduction Act (HRRA) led to lower 30-day readmissions at those hospitals compared to non-penalized facilities, according to a study published in JAMA.

Female physicians have lower mortality, readmission rates

Elderly patients have better outcomes when hospitalized if cared for by a female physician than a male, according to a Harvard University study published in JAMA Internal Medicine

FDA finalizes ban on powdered gloves

Beginning January 19, 2017, powdered medical gloves will be banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which cites “an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury.”

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